CDL training in North Carolina is the first step for those looking to obtain their commercial driver’s license (CDL) and jumpstart their career in truck driving. Not only does enrolling in a CDL school provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to pass their exams, but students can also receive job placement assistance allowing them to work immediately upon graduation. Courses vary by the type of class license or type of vehicle a student plans on operating. However, the most common CDL classes offered are for those looking to obtain their Class A license.

If you are considering truck driving school, then there are several things you should keep in mind when finding a program best suited for you. For example, the cost of training and whether the benefits you are receiving are worth it. Some of these benefits may include job placement assistance and perks for being a member of the military. To learn more about different CDL prep schools, read the following sections below.

What is CDL training in North Carolina?

CDL training in North Carolina is courses offered through companies and programs that focus primarily on commercial driving. Those wanting to complete the CDL application process should consider enrolling in a CDL school, as petitioners must first earn a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) by taking the appropriate test. The CDL written test or tests depend on the class of license and endorsements sought.

After you have your permit to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV) from answering enough CDL permit test questions correctly, you will need to prepare for the road skills exam in order to demonstrate your skills as a truck driver. Based on the type of CDL classification you need, you may complete the exam in various types of CMV. While there are resources provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), the most reliable way to train for these exams is through a school.

If you are wondering what type of CDL training you need, then you must decide based on the type of CMV you plan on driving as a newly licensed truck driver, such as:

  • Class A CDL training if you need to know to operate any combination of vehicles that fall under a Class A license. These vehicles include those with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the GVWR of its towed vehicle is more than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B CDL training if you need to obtain a Class B license. A Class B CDL permits you to drive any single vehicle that weighs 26,001 pounds, along with a towed vehicle that weighs less than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C CDL training if you will need to obtain a Class C license. Class C CMVs are designed to transport 16 or more passengers or hazardous materials.

Is CDL school required in North Carolina?

Although CDL school is not required in North Carolina, most commercial drivers complete training before taking their exams. This is due to the difficulty of these exams and the success rate that CDL prep provides. Additionally, most jobs in the industry either require or prefer an applicant who has completed formal training.

Curriculum of North Carolina CDL Classes

By the end of a CDL training program, students should be equipped enough to maintain and operate a large commercial vehicle in various situations. While every CDL school has its own unique curriculum, most programs cover material needed to pass the written knowledge and road skills exam. These courses typically consist of an in-class and behind-the-wheel portion designated to help students master each test.

In-Class Instruction for the CDL Written Test

Most CDL classes begin in the classroom and end behind the wheel of a CMV. In-class instruction is intended to help students pass the CDL general knowledge test and other endorsement exams needed to obtain a CLP. In class, students can ask questions, have discussions, complete classwork and take practice tests containing questions from the actual exam. Topics covered in the classroom may include:

  • Motor carrier safety regulations
  • Logbooks
  • Brake systems
  • Hazardous materials
  • Defensive driving
  • Accident reports
  • License regulations

Unfortunately, CDL training online is not typically offered. Most residents benefit from the interactive learning environment established in the classroom by a real-life licensed instructor. These instructors are masters of the CDL written test and typically have plenty of insight to offer about the truck driving industry.

Behind-the-Wheel Instruction for the CDL Driving Test

Commonly referred to as field training, the behind-the-wheel instruction portion of CDL school is meant to prepare students for the most important CDL test. Once residents have obtained their CLP, they will have 14 days before they can take the CDL driving test and obtain their license. There are several portions to this exam, including pre-trip vehicle inspection, basic vehicle control and the on-road test.

Each section of the CDL test requires superb memorization of vehicle parts and the advanced skills needed to complete difficult maneuvers in various weather conditions. This may include blind-side backing, coupling and uncoupling a trailer and progressive shifting.

In order to operate a commercial vehicle, permit holders must be accompanied by a licensed driver and the vehicle must adhere to North Carolina’s auto insurance minimums and vehicle registration requirements. CDL training one-on-one with an experienced instructor provides students with the practice they need to successfully complete every portion of the exam.

How long is CDL training in North Carolina?

Depending on whether you are enrolled in a part-time or full-time program, CDL training in North Carolina can take anywhere from three to 16 weeks to complete. The amount of time it takes to complete training depends on how comprehensive a course is and your availability. While you may take time off from working to complete formal training, you may also choose to complete your courses on the weekend.

Best CDL Schools Near Me in North Carolina

Looking for the, “best CDL schools near me”? amongst the many programs available in NC. Finding the CDL training program best suited for you includes locating a school that is affordable, fits your schedule and offers assistance with finding a CDL job. Some examples include:

  • Cross Country Truck Driving School. Committed to bringing you the most comprehensive courses for a Class A license, this CDL school offers classroom instruction, field training and highway instruction. Upon graduation, you will receive a certificate and transcript used for job placement. CCTDS partners with approximately 40 trucking companies, including nationwide, regional and local businesses to offer the best-suited job opportunity for you.
  • CDL Training Institute. Whether you are interested in full-time or part-time training, this program offers 200 hours of classroom, field instruction and behind-the-wheel training at a fair price. Additionally, students can pre-qualify for employment and receive tuition reimbursement through the job placement assistance program.
  • Carolina Trucking Academy. This CDL prep school offers both full-time and weekend trucking academy classes that can be completed in four to 16 weeks. Additionally, it is partners with companies, such as Coca Cola and Prime Inc., to provide students with a job commitment upon graduation.
  • Roadmaster Drivers School of NC. Interested in receiving Class A CDL training in just three to four weeks? This school offers classroom instruction, computer labs and field-driving courses. Additionally, you can receive job placement assistance and financial assistance if you meet qualifications. There are even truck carrier recruiters located on-site that regularly look to hire new license holders.

Benefits of Completing North Carolina Truck Driving School

Completing a North Carolina truck driving school offers many benefits. Not only does it prepare you to pass your CDL exams on the first try, but many schools also offer CDL job placement to help you break into the truck driving industry much quicker.

In fact, most of these partnering companies help pay for training or will reimburse you after you have completed a program. A company-paid CDL training can help cover the costs of tuition as well as allow you to enroll full time.

Other CDL jobs on the market require some sort of formal training or experience behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle. CDL school provides hours of field training, giving you the advanced skills you need to confidently excel at your job.

CDL Training Costs in North Carolina

While CDL training cost can be expensive, there are many ways to reduce or even eliminate the cost completely. Many CDL schools offer financial aid and financing options for students who need it. This includes workforce scholarships, government grants and military benefits.

Additionally, there are trucking companies that offer paid CDL training to new hires with great truck driving potential. Residents can apply to trucking companies directly or utilize the job placement assistance programs provided by most schools to obtain free CDL training. Most schools partner with companies that offer tuition reimbursement, meaning you are paid back after receiving your certificate of completion.

Note: CDL training costs typically do not include licensing fees and the expense to complete the mandatory DOT physical exam for CDL credentials.

How to Self-Prep for North Carolina CDL Exams

Taking at least one CDL practice test is absolutely necessary when preparing for your CDL exams. It not only helps with memorization but can also give you a better idea of how much more you need to study and what areas of study require more attention. You can find practice tests online through third-party websites or create your own from questions in the CDL handbook.

The commercial driver’s manual will have the information needed to pass the general knowledge exam. However, becoming familiar with CMVs to pass the road test will require practice in the commercial vehicle class you are applying for.

Last updated on Friday, February 28 2020.